Are Above Ground Pools Tacky?

Are above ground pools trashy?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say, and I believe those with an above-ground pool probably love theirs very much. Maybe the neighbors have a different opinion though! It all depends really but I think the above-ground pool has gotten a reputation for being tacky from the large, clunky, uglier models that were in many backyards before but the new models today are absolutely beautiful.

So, are above ground pools tacky? Yes, and No, unmaintained above-ground pools can definitely look tacky and trashy if they aren’t kept up. You can say this about nearly everything that sits outdoors that isn’t given some TLC to keep it from deteriorating. If a homeowner gets an above-ground pool with beautiful decking and landscaping then these pools can really become an asset to a yard for a fraction of the cost of an inground pool.

I’ll discuss some of the reasons that people feel above-ground pools are tacky or trashy and what precautions you might be able to take to avoid this if you are concerned about what others think about getting an above-ground pool. You can also read my article, why do people not like above ground pools?

Today’s Models of Above Ground Pools Can Be Very Stylish

We have all seen some above-ground pools that were definitely eye sores and not an asset to the landscaping of someone’s backyard. Even if it was a really nice place to take a dip to cool off for the summer. There are a ton of options on the market today that without any added features or landscaping look pretty cool and are far from ugly.

Many companies like Doughboy and Aqua Leader have classic-style pools with some stylish designs on the outside wall with well-paired coping. I really enjoy the models produced by the manufacturer Carvin, especially their downtown model. In the image below, I don’t know how anyone can even begin to say that a setup like this looks tacky.

Carvin Downtown Model with Beautiful Set Up

Cheap but Good looking Above Ground Pool Models

The manufacturers I mentioned above are far from the cheapest models and installations you can get. If you are in a pinch and looking to get something that can fit your budget. Check out the soft wall above-ground pool models like Intex, Summer Waves, or Bestway. These pools are honestly, good-looking, I especially like the big models with the frames. Now, they don’t look anything like the pool pictured above, but these companies have a ton of models under $1500 bucks that I think look excellent for the price. Also, it’s not a long-term commitment. They will last for a few seasons and you can easily move on from them.

Partially and Fully Bury Above Ground Pools!

If you aren’t hip to the new trends in above-ground pools, having your pool partially buried into the ground has become a big new wave and is available through many different models and sellers. Most models can only be submerged around 50% of the height of the pool wall but models specially made by Doughboy Pools can even be fully submerged.

If your above-ground pool looking tacky or trashy is a big concern, then going with a partial inground model would really go a long way to making your pool look great. These aren’t the cheapest models on the market and the costs of doing this will be more but if you can’t fit it into your budget, it’s definitely worth taking a look. Again, the cost difference between burying an above ground pool and building an actual inground pool is astronomically different.

With how deep this pool has been inserted into the ground, this would most likely be a Doughboy model pool. Combined with the landscaping this looks absolutely stunning! I have another photo of what you can do with the other models of pools that can be partially but not fully submerged below.

What I like most about the partially submerged pools is that they can fit well into the natural landscape/hill of your yard which could remove the necessity to build extra decking or a retaining wall. Again though, not all models can be submerged and you’ll need an expert to help with these installations.

Beautiful and Unique Decking for an Above Ground Pool Can Make All the Difference

Building a beautiful deck around your above-ground pool is by far the best way to make an above-ground pool look eye-catching rather than painful to look at. As I mentioned earlier with buried pools going into the natural landscape of your yard, I think combining your pool and deck together with the slope of your yard can really make a huge difference in the perception of how the pool looks.

Deck and Pool Working together with the steep slope of this backyard.

I love the example above where part of the pool is partially “buried” with a retaining wall into the slope of the hill and then the natural wood deck comes over the top. Almost giving a feel of a dock at the lake! If you go with decking, you have a lot of options to match your pool walls and liner to make an additional pop. You can choose from wood, composite, PVC, and concrete to create a gathering area around your backyard pool that will leave the neighbor’s jaws dropping.

When Does Your Above-Ground Pool Look Trashy?

I’ve given a lot of examples of what you could do to make your pool look great and also some images of beautiful above-ground pools but we have all seen some above-ground pools we thought she is taken down right away.

One of the big things you need to do to keep your pool looking great is to watch for rust. Rusty above-ground pools are ugly looking, no questions about it. They also look dangerous and can make you want to get a Tetnis shot by just glancing at them. If you go to buy a new pool, look at some Resin pool models that have rust prevention to stop this problem from ever developing.

“Trash” hanging around your pool is another common factor among the eye-sore above-ground pools around the world. Don’t put an above-ground pool in your backyard next to that rusted-out 72 Monte Carlo engine block that you swear you are going to restore someday. That’s trashy and brings a terrible look to your backyard.


The founder of I wanted a place to share all of the great information from my family to other pool lovers, builders, and those looking to buy a pool.

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